Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The Olmecs and the Mayas in South America

South America
At the southern end of Central America is the Isthmus of Panama, which connects North America with the continent south of it South America. South America is the fourth-largest continent in the world. Most of South America lies in the part of the Earth called the tropical zone, or "the tropics." This region lies between the Tropic of Cancer, 23 V2 degrees north of the equator, and the Tropic of Capricorn, 23 V2 degrees south of the equator. The areas north and south of the tropical zone are called the temperate zones.

A chain of mountains called the Andes runs along South America's western coast. These are the highest mountains in the Americas and the second highest in the world. Only the Himalayas in Asia are taller. Many of the highest peaks of the Andes are topped with snow all year. Even the mountain valleys are thousands of feet above sea level.

To the west of the Andes, in the country of Chile, lies one of the world's driest regions, the Atacama Desert. To the east of the Andes is the huge basin of the Amazon River. The world's largest tropical rain forest is also located in this part of South America. North and south of the rain forest are vast tropical grasslands. Near the cold southern tip of South America, the grasslands give way to a rocky area with few plants and trees.

What large river and large mountain range are located in South America?

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